Requests for Content
Alteration & Takedown

Jul – Dec 2017

Total Alteration & Takedown Requests
343

Jul – Dec 2017

Percentage of Requests Granted
0%

Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge.

The Wikimedia projects make up one of the world's largest repositories of human knowledge. With that much information, someone is bound to get upset by some of the content from time to time. While the vast majority of content disputes are resolved by users themselves, in some extreme cases the Wikimedia Foundation may receive a legal demand to override our users.

The Wikimedia projects are yours, not ours. People just like you from around the world write, upload, edit, and curate all of the content. Therefore, we believe users should decide what belongs on Wikimedia projects whenever legally possible.

Below, you will find more information about the number of requests we receive, where they come from, and how they could impact free knowledge. You can also learn more about how we fight for freedom of speech through our user assistance programs in the FAQ.

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Count Me In
July 2017

Many of the messages we receive are requests to change or remove information on the projects. However, some people want to add information to Wikipedia. One emailer was very keen to have an article created about themselves. They sent a message in five different major languages, to us, to the volunteer contributors of several different Wikipedias, and even to a handful of Wikimedia chapters. The email stated that they are an accomplished philosopher and scientist. If they meet the Notability requirements for an article, maybe one of the volunteer editors will create one.

Political Discussions
July 2017

In July, we received a message from a government communications office. The emailer was concerned that the English Wikipedia article about a high-level government official had become the site of a battle between opposing political sides. They had not edited the page, but sought advice on how to keep it neutral. We commended them for noting the Conflict of interest policy and not editing the page, and explained that they should feel free to engage with volunteer contributors on the article’s talk page, while disclosing their position and interest.

Room for Improvement
September 2017

A representative for an eccentric filmmaker repeatedly contacted volunteer editors, demanding changes be made to the filmmaker’s biography on English Wikipedia. They wanted to correct information about the filmmaker's name and national origin, claiming that the information currently on Wikipedia was stigmatizing. An experienced volunteer investigated the claim, and found that the information in the article was well-sourced. They suggested that the requester contact the news website cited to support the challenged information. In subsequent interviews reported in multiple news sources, the filmmaker provided additional information about their background, leading Wikipedia editors to modify the article.



Jul – Dec 2017
Government Requests Breakdown


France Politicians, candidates, & political parties 1
Germany Politicians, candidates, & political parties 1
India Local police 1
Italy Politicians, candidates, & political parties 1
Philippines Executive office 1
Turkey Government agency 1
United Kingdom Local police 1

Where did these requests come from?

Request Granted?

Yes

No

Jan - Jun 2016

Total Requests Received
0

Jan - Jun 2016

Total Requests Granted
0

Which Wikimedia projects were targeted?

Request Granted?

Yes

No

Jan - Jun 2016

Total Requests Received
0

Jan - Jun 2016

Total Requests Granted
0

*

Because we did not collect data for projects potentially and actually affected until July 2013, this information is not available for July 2012 to June 2013.





Jul – Dec 2017

Total Right to Erasure Requests
1

Jul – Dec 2017

Number of Requests Granted
0

Right to Erasure

The Right to Erasure, sometimes called the Right to be Forgotten, grants individuals the ability to request the de-indexing or delisting of content about them from the results when someone searches for their name. We believe in a Right to Remember. Everyone should have free access to relevant and neutral information of public concern; these delistings harm our collective ability to remember history and understand the world. In October 2016, we filed a petition to intervene in Google’s appeal of a French administrative order that would expand such delistings from the European Union to all global domains. In July 2017, the French Supreme Court asked the European Court of Justice to address questions regarding the scope of right to erasure delistings, and we have submitted a filing to the ECJ presenting our concerns. We occasionally receive direct requests to remove content from Wikimedia projects under the Right To Erasure.*

* Please note that this information only reflects requests made directly to us. Wikimedia project pages continue to disappear from search engine results without any notice or request to us. We have a dedicated page where we post notices of delisted project pages that we have received from the search engines who provide such information as part of their own commitments to transparency.





Jul – Dec 2017

Total DMCA Takedown Requests
12

Jul – Dec 2017

Percentage of Requests Granted
17%

DMCA Takedown Notices

The Wikimedia community is made up of creators, collectors, and consumers of free knowledge. While most material appearing on Wikimedia projects is in the public domain or freely licensed, on occasion, copyrighted material makes its way onto the projects.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) safe harbor provision requires us to remove infringing material if we receive a proper takedown request. We thoroughly evaluate each DMCA takedown request to ensure that it is valid. We only remove allegedly infringing content when we believe that a request is valid, and we are transparent about that removal. If we do not believe a request to be valid, we will push back as appropriate. To learn more about DMCA procedures, see our DMCA policy.

Below, we provide information about the DMCA takedown notices we have received in the past and how we responded to them.

If the Internet teaches us anything, it is that great value comes from leaving core resources in a commons, where they're free for people to build upon as they see fit.

Quantity over Quality
December 2017

In December, we received several emails from multiple email addresses under different names, all writing about the same few articles on English Wikipedia and English Wikivoyage. The sender claimed that the articles, and some maps contained in them, violated their copyright, and sent us links to another website as proof. When we looked into it, however, we found that their articles and maps were different from those on the projects. Even stranger, the sender’s articles acknowledged that they were adapted from Wikipedia. We encourage people to reuse content from the Wikimedia projects, but they should understand that the originals will remain a common resource for everyone.

Spoiler Alert
September 2017

Most DMCA notices we receive relate to photographs, although other types of information can of course be copyrighted. In September, a production company located in the Middle East emailed us to request the removal of written content on English Wikipedia that related to a television show. The information concerned an upcoming season of the show, and may have given away important events before the program aired. We evaluated the request, and investigated whether or not the information in question was copyrightable and covered by the DMCA. However, before we completed our review, the article was examined by volunteers, who chose to remove the information.

Fair to Share
September 2017

Volunteer contributors work hard to ensure that all content on the Wikimedia projects is appropriately licensed. However, we do receive a handful of legitimate DMCA notices. In September 2017, a photographer contacted us about a picture of a musician on Wikimedia Commons. We determined the request was valid, and removed the image. The following month, the same photographer contacted us again about a picture of an author on English Wikipedia. As the author was deceased and the photo cannot be easily replaced, the image bore a fair use tag. We agreed with this conclusion, and the picture remains on the projects.



DMCA requests received, and how we responded

Request Granted?

Yes

No

Jul - Dec 2016

Total Requests Received
0

Jul - Dec 2016

Total Requests Granted
0

Which Wikimedia projects were targeted?

Request Granted?

Yes

No

Jan - Jun 2016

Total Requests Received
0

Jan - Jun 2016

Total Requests Granted
0

*

Because we did not collect data for projects potentially and actually affected until July 2013, this information is not available for July 2012 to June 2013.